The Cold War The United States

3059 Words13 Pages
During the Cold War the United States was pestered by an internal contradiction in the face of its ideological rivals. This tense period had been accentuated by the United States’ global sermonization of the beliefs in democratic ideals of governance and the Soviet Union acting conversely. The American domestic reality was one of segregation, social inequality, and subjugation of non-white Americans to abuse and discrimination due to the color of their skin. This internal ignominy was one that threatened to jeopardize the United States’ foreign policy objectives in its crusade against Communism and perpetuation of global democracy. For this reason, Civil Rights in the United States gradually gained more and more traction as a movement beginning in the post-WWII era—concurrent with the initiation of tensions that had materialized into the Cold War. In specific, the protracted conflict with the Soviet Union behooved the United States to alter its domestic policy with regards to Civil Rights in order to both legitimize its democratic impulsions and salvage a favorable perception abroad. The period of nearly a half-century which the Cold War encompassed had seen a time of global change with the disbanding of Colonial empires. In order for the United States to remain a relevant and respectable world power during this period of transformation from the old global structure to the new, American leaders had to grapple with the domestic issue of Civil Rights which had been eminent amongst the state of affairs on American soil. The United States had tolerated institutional racism and discrimination for as long as it had professed devotion to a democratic society. The period following the American Civil War had ushered in the realit... ... middle of paper ... ...ection between the domestic policy efforts of civil rights and the United States’ effort to convince foreign detractors of its earnest commitment to equality for all. Despite the longstanding ordeal over civil rights, throughout the Cold War the United States sought to portray a progressive society and improving racial relations. This ordeal from within is encapsulated by the statement: “The United States is trying to prove to the people of the world, of every nationality, race, and color, that a free democracy is the most civilized and secure form of government devised by man. We must set an example for others by showing firm determination to remove existing flaws in our democracy.” –President Eisenhower It had taken the exposition of its own institutional flaws during the Cold War for the United States government to truly grant non-White Americans full citizenship
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